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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Lancaster family come from? What is the English Lancaster family crest and coat of arms? When did the Lancaster family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Lancaster family history?

Lancaster is one of the names that was brought to England in the wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Lancaster family lived in the city of Lancaster, in Lancashire.


Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Lancaster include Lancaster, Lancashire, Lancester, Lancoster, Lancastell and many more.

First found in Lancashire where they held a family seat as Constables of Lancaster Castle from very ancient times soon after the Norman Conquest in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Lancaster research. Another 435 words(31 lines of text) covering the years 1068, 1066, 1070, 1114, 1150, 1334, 1618, 1650 and 1717 are included under the topic Early Lancaster History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 53 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Lancaster Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Lancaster family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Lancasters to arrive on North American shores:

Lancaster Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Gowen Lancaster arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • Gowen Lancaster, aged 28, arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • Owen Lancaster, who arrived in Virginia in 1639
  • Wm Lancaster, who landed in Virginia in 1658
  • Antho Lancaster, who landed in Virginia in 1665

Lancaster Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Marmaduke Lancaster, who landed in Virginia in 1714

Lancaster Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • William Walter Lancaster, who arrived in New York in 1834
  • Edward, Frederick, John, Joseph, Mary, Richard, Thomas and William Lancaster all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860


  • Burton Stephen "Burt" Lancaster (1913-1994), American film actor who came to be regarded as one of the best actors of his generation
  • Sir Osbert Lancaster CBE (1908-1986), English cartoonist, author, art critic, and stage designer
  • Penny Lancaster -Stewart (b. 1971), English model and photographer, wife of rock singer Rod Stewart
  • Marshall Lancaster (b. 1974), British television, film, and stage actor
  • William Newton "Bill" Lancaster (1898-1933), pioneering British aviator
  • Geoffrey Lancaster (b. 1954), Australian classical pianist and conductor
  • Gary L. Lancaster (1949-2013), United States federal judge, Assistant District Attorney and lawyer


  • Lancaster, the John Harrison Lancaster Families by Cora Belle Lancaster Kirk.

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  1. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  2. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  3. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  4. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  5. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  6. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  8. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  9. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  10. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  11. ...

The Lancaster Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Lancaster Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 30 September 2014 at 23:05.

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